What is a baseline?
A baseline in project management is a fixed reference point in time. Project Managers use this to measure and compare a project’s progress.
How is it useful?
Capturing and comparing variances between the current actual schedule and the originally planned schedule is essential for tracking any deviations, and allows project teams to quickly reprioritize, forecast, and accurately report on project timelines.
How does it work?
- Set up a project sheet with tasks that have start and end dates (or use an existing one)
- In Gantt view, click the new ‘Baselines’ button in the toolbar
- Click the ‘Set’ button in the summary modal to set the baseline
- That’s it!
Three new columns automatically get added to your sheet – ‘Baseline Start’, ‘Baseline Finish’ (both column type = date), and ‘Variance’ (column type = duration). These columns are read only and cannot be edited. You’ll see the baseline visualized as a thin grey line underneath the Gantt bars.
Users with the correct permissions can toggle the baseline on/off, reset, and remove the baseline in the summary modal via clicking the ‘Baselines’ button.
All licenced Smartsheet owners and admins can create and edit baselines. Your stakeholders and external users can view them.
Baselines are just one of a variety of ways we can help you use Smartsheet for Project Management.
For more information head over to Smartsheet’s article on baselines.